“You keep destroying the earth, you are not going to survive.”
Fr. Richard Rohr
This sounds fairly strait forward, right?
While the statement is sobering, it doesn’t seem to sound an alarm loud enough to result in global change. Or does it?
Twenty years ago, I would have agreed. Today I am seeing many people engaging in tasks which contribute to the health of our planet.
While the health of our planet is a huge concern, this was not the primary point being made by Fr. Rohr in his writing. He was talking about his observation that we as a people and as a church have missed the point about the role of prophets in history and in contemporary society. He notes that most have viewed prophets as those who speak of doom and gloom. He offered me a change of perspective as he observed that prophets spoke the facts, i.e. we destroy the earth and we are not going to survive. This is rather obvious. Further, he points out that prophets spoke to a social fact: ignore Divine nature and suffer the fruits of power and greed.
Recovery is an act of prophetic fact: surrender my power to addiction and reap the destruction of addiction. When I surrender my power to the lies and seductions of addiction, Satan, opposite spirit, or whatever I call the voice of evil, I will experience a lifestyle according to my choice.
As my transformation to sobriety progresses, my perspective on life evolves. The evolution is from my addictive sense of individuality and self-control to the power and security of growing relationships and surrender. I recognize that self-control is a fantasy expressed by a society of power and greed. The result of this change in perspective is like Fr. Rohr’s opening statement; if I keep destroying myself, I am not going to survive. Further, I recognize that self-destruction ripples far and wide. I am not the only one who suffers. The very nature of relationship is that others will suffer as well.
Yet, challenge an active addict and there is usually a violent reaction. We want to be left alone to our own devices, our own distorted view of reality, our own lives of denial and deceit. Again, I see evidence of the reality of prophetic life. When I challenge the status quo, be it on the job, in the church, or in politics, there is a hostile reaction and effort to protect the status quo.
So, we face paradox, personally and nationally: separate church/Divinity and state and live, by choice, in the absence of Divine guidance; separate me as an individual from Divine surrender, and live, by choice, a lonely and self-destructive life.
Here is a simple and glorious fact: a sober life is a connected life. I find myself growing connections to family, friends, society and earth. Life is expanding. Life is as expansive as our universe, in all its beauty and glory. We seem to celebrate the scars that brought us to our celebrations. We become more easily and eagerly ready to engage in our collective suffering and healing. We don’t become bored with the routine of our life cycles: life, suffering, healing and rejoicing. I witness our collective ‘happy dances’ in small but powerful ways.
WE ARE SURVIVING.
WE ARE CELEBRATING.
WE ARE THE PROPHETS OF LIFE IN A DIVINE DANCE.
The Divine Dance is more that survival. We are engaged in a dance of celebrations that guide us to restful waters where life is.
This is where life is. This is where we are.
I am grateful.